I'm a MASSIVE fan of dogs, as you probably know, and today I'm THRILLED that there's a brand new doggie book hitting shelves!
Oh, and my guest author is absolutely awesome too so you'll want to check out our interview...
Liz Ledden is a Sydney-based children’s book author and podcaster. Her latest picture book is Walking Your Human, a fun story written from a dog's point of view about the best ways to go for a walk. She is also the author of picture book Tulip and Brutus, about friendship, differences, teamwork and bugs. A lifetime lover of kids' books, Liz has an MA in Children's Literature via Deakin University.
Liz also co-hosts kids’ book podcast One More Page with friends, authors and book lovers Kate Simpson and Nat Amoore, where she interviews kids’ book industry professionals, reviews the latest books and lapses into the occasional laughing fit. She has lived in Vietnam, Cambodia and Canada, and has a rescue dog named Frankie who acts like a cat. She can typically be found seeking out new cafes or maxing out her library card. Liz is represented by Sarah McKenzie Literary Management.
Have you ever wondered what your dog is thinking? It turns out they know just what humans want - to be walked! And once they're on their way, these dogs will share exactly how to do it.
WALKING YOUR HUMAN is a light-hearted look at the very different ideas dogs and humans have about what makes for a good walk. A picture book for dog lovers everywhere!
Did you always dream of being a writer?
Yes! I was obsessed with books and reading as a kid and remember stating I wanted to be an author when I grew up. But when I did, study, work and life happened, and the dream was forgotten for a good while. Fortunately, it returned in my 30s.
When did you start pursuing publication of your work?
I first dabbled on the fringes of writing for kids in 2014, and completed some courses, but it was more like 2016/2017 when I began properly submitting. Attending lots of kidlit conferences like CYA, Writers Unleashed and KidLitVic and meeting with publishers there really kickstarted the world of submitting for me. I’ve learnt so much via these events, and to anyone starting out I highly recommend them!
How long did it take from sending out your manuscript till getting a book deal?
For my latest picture book, Walking Your Human, I submitted it for just over a year from first sub until finding the right home for it with Larrikin House. In between, it placed second in CYA’s writing competition (in the picture book - preschool category), as an earlier version of the story.
What's been the hardest part of publishing a book so far?
Hmmm … I’m not sure any of it has been that hard to be honest. Except maybe just the nerves around how the book will be received!
And the easiest, or most enjoyable?
Seeing and holding copies for the first time, parents telling me how much their child loves my book, and spotting copies ‘in the wild’ is a bit of a thrill, too.
What's next for you?
While I’ll continue writing new picture book manuscripts, I have a huge soft spot for junior fiction, and want to concentrate more on this in 2021. I recently won the junior fiction category in Jen Storer’s Scribbles Creative Writing Awards, which gave me the boost I needed to keep going with JF!
What's one piece of advice you'd give to writers just starting their pursuit of publication?
Don’t submit too early!
Last book you just read?
The End of the World is Bigger than Love by Davina Bell – strangely compelling, breathtakingly unique.
What book are you reading now?
The Detective’s Guide to Ocean Travel by Nicki Greenberg (an ARC as it’s not out yet, lucky me!).
Best book you've ever read?
This is extremely hard to answer – don’t make me choose! But Herman and Rosie, a picture book by Gus Gordon has to be up there.
I’ll always love Judy Blume. But in terms of contemporary Australian authors, faves include Nova Weetman and Jane Godwin.
Best moment of your writing life?
Starting time at my first ever book launch, as Berkelouw Books Leichhardt filled with friends and family there to celebrate my debut PB, Tulip and Brutus. Then doing it all again in Melbourne (in pre-Covid travel times, sigh!).
If not an author, what would be your dream job?
Making (and tasting!) chocolate. And designing pretty packaging for it. Basically being some kind of modern-day Willy Wonka.
Want to guest blog or be interviewed? Got a cover reveal or book coming out?
Get in touch today!